review page logo

The Perfect Murder

by HRF Keating

Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay CID is not your average fictional detective – he doesn’t have a drink problem, is happily married and plays it by the book. But one thing he does have in common with the likes of Morse, Wallander, Lund, Zen, et al, is bloody-mindedness - he has to see things through to the bitter end.

The crime takes place in the house of the bombastic businessman Mr Lala Varde whose gentle assistant Mr Perfect has been brutally attacked. Ghote smells a rat as soon as he is presented with the facts. The house was securely locked so no-one could have got out or in so a member of the household must surely be the perpetrator. Relying on his impeccable instinct, his detecting bible, Gross’s Criminal Investigation, and shadowed by a UNESCO representative, the incongruous Swede, Axel Svensson, Ghote goes about his business impeded at every turn by the infuriating Lala Varde. Surely Ghote couldn’t suspect a member of this upstanding, highly-educated family?

Written in 1964, THE PERFECT MURDER is the first in a series of mysteries set in Bombay (now Mumbai of course) featuring the gentle Inspector Ghote and what is truly remarkable is that the author HRF Keating (who sadly died this week – see obituary below) hadn’t set a foot in India before writing it - unthinkable when one considers today’s obsession with authenticity and attention to minutiae.

Irene Haynes

For an insight into the life of this remarkable author read HRF Keating’s obituary here.

Published by Penguin – 266pp


Gald to see these books getting a revival. I first read them as a student in the 1960s (clandestinely - it wasn't cool) and loved them.

Recommend this site to a friend

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter